Friday, February 7, 2014

How Do You Make Budgets Stretch in a Library

The 20-day blogging challenge post today is on making budgets stretch in a school library.

You'd be surprised what you can cobble together with bookfairs, grants, donations, and BoxTops. It's not a grant sum, but without it I feel I would have a library that's going nowhere toward improvement.

Since I have about 10 seconds to write this blogpost, I will simply list what I do:

  • Two Scholastic BookFairs per year - Many times I only sell enough books to be awarded books in kind for the library, but every little bit helps and I am glad to have the latest publications from Scholastic.
  • One Barnes and Noble in-store Bookfair that I promote mostly to teachers and get a giftcard to fluff the collection
  • Our wonderful PTO donates $500 per year for my Book Club. Those books go into the collection
  • Grants from our Board - I received a grant for a BrainPop subscription for the library
  • Many different grants are available from ALA - I have won the American Bookshelf award before which added to my collection
  • I work with my public library on grants
  • I look for grants outside the box that I can coordinate for the school
  • I enter contests to win books
  • I've sold water bottles at our school carnival
  • I also attend my neighborhood's library book sale and appeal to them through a letter to allow me to look through their leftovers. I have found many brand new books that way and have created my whole audio collection in this way.
It takes a lot of work and constant vigilance. You also have to apply year after year. Applying regularly helps grant-writing skills.

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